Valparaiso Public Library


Address: 103 Jefferson St Valparaiso, IN 46383
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday 9:00am-9:00pm
Friday 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday 1:00-5:00pm
Staff Contact: Willow Cataldo

Public Restrooms: YES
Public Parking: 
Handicap Accessible: YES



    My art originated as a mechanism to help me deal with the grief of losing my mother. Seeking a therapeutic alternative to my unhappy state, my grandmother suggested that I reconstitute my sorrow into an energy that could be channeled into art. I started wood block printing by taking an independent study course at Knox College. I found working with wood blocks very soothing. My first print, “Invasions,” was published in Catch, Knox’s literary magazine. The medium became a sustaining passion.

    I have a strong feeling for nature, and the wood compliments my images. Different types of wood provide varied and often fascinating backgrounds, depending upon on the subject. Recently, I’ve been using my photography to reconstruct my art works. For some images I use linoleum blocks in order to get more detailed lines in a small area. The majority of my creations are printed on Japanese Kozuki paper, using oil based inks.

    Pulling that first print off the block is pure joy. The excitement multiplies when there are multiple blocks for each color involved. Each successive color is a layer that informs the mystery and appeal of the final image. I take much pleasure in hearing interpretations of my work from others. I enjoy creating images that are at once familiar, yet open to interpretation. The more diverse the comments, the more effective I believe my work to be.


    Mothers Day HS | Benjamin Calvert | Valparaiso Public Library | Woodblock print. 30×24

    Le Grand Zephyr | Benjamin Calvert | Valparaiso Public Library | Woodblock print. 40×30



    “Oh, the secrets we develop while creating!” No. “The many versions of an art piece…” I can’t decide. Many times I look at artwork, movies, or structures and I get to enjoy them for a few seconds before I start imagining what the creator’s process was while developing each piece. I especially wonder what the early stages of development looked like. I think it’s because when I am creating art, the early stages are where I grow the most and where the piece changes the most dramatically. No matter how straight-forward I may think a piece is going to be, stumbling blocks, hold ups, and problems come hurtling at me at some point after I start it. Does this frustrate me? Yes. Do I start doubting myself? Yes. Does it make me want to just get up, make a glass of chocolate milk, clean the bathroom, mow the lawn, finish organizing the basement then get back to the painting later? YES! Sometimes I do need a break, but when I actually dig my heels in and keep going, I am forced to problem-solve and push past the doubt. I want to tell you that the feeling of accomplishment feels incredible when I can finally make it look right. When looking at other artist’s work, I know that person also had a direction and an idea, and they too had to change their piece due to restrictions or new ideas. Which leads me to wonder about all of the versions their piece might have been, and that what exists today is the triumphant design that earned the chance to be seen.

    I developed this technique after trying to paint an image of a foggy tree-lined street. Over eight hours later, with many layers of paint on my canvas, some spots became slick and the paint was not sticking anymore. I knew I could not revive the piece, so I just started experimenting and messing around with the extra paint I had on my palette. Feeling no pressure, knowing that I was just having fun, I was able to come up with a different way of painting. I started stacking wavy lines upon wavy lines, and interrupting sets of wavy lines with another set of wavy lines. This created an interesting texture and depth through a technique that was really fun to do. I got out a canvas board and started on the sky. From there, I had many decisions to make and still had stumbling blocks, but I knew that in order for people to see this fun technique, I not only had to finish it, but I had to be proud of it. If only everyone could see what this painting was originally envisioned to be, then saw the rough patch it went through, all the way to the minute before it was complete… All of those versions feel like a bunch of secrets!


    Truff | Carolyn McAfee | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic Paint 18×24



    To paint is to explore the unknown. My inspiration comes from my life experiences combined with what I see around me. When trying to form an idea for a painting in my head something as simple as seeing a color can trigger what brings the whole thing together. My art is a personal interpretation of what I see and an expression of my state of mind. I try to capture the soul of the subject. I search to find new and fresh ways to express myself without stifling the energetic act of creating and thus bringing to life new perspectives and possibilities. The more I search the more I learn and grow as an artist and become a more enlightened person. It’s an ongoing discovery of who I am and how I view the world.



    Order vs Chaos | Joyce Dille | Valparaiso Public Library | Mixed Media, Newspaper, Paint, Ink, `12×24

    Late Winter Lake | Joyce Dille | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic on Canvas, 28×22

    Though the Tree Tops | Joyce Dille | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic on Canvas 24×30

    Brilliant Sunset | Joyce Dille | Valparaiso Public Library| Acrylic on Canvas 24×30


    Art is a discovery of an experience, bringing focus through color and movement. Being intrigued by the interactions of colors, patterns and textures in nature, I endeavor to translate these moments through my paintings.

    Peace | Susan Snell | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic, 24×36 framed

    Transition | Susan Snell | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic on Canvas, 30x24x1.5

    The Dance | Susan Snell | Valparaiso Public Library | Acrylic on Canvas, 30x24x1.5